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Letter sent to U.S. Senator tests positive for Ricin poison

US Capitol Washington

WASHINGTON – Officials have intercepted an envelope that tested positive for the deadly poison, ricin, Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol’s off-site mail facility in Washington, congressional and law enforcement sources told CNN.

A letter sent to Sen. Roger Wiker (R- Mississippi) tested positive in a first routine test and was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said.

The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing.

Officials have not released who may have sent the letter.

Ricin is a very toxic naturally-occurring protein.

It is fatal if inhaled or ingested.

The poison causes severe diarrhea and death typically occurs in three to five days if not treated.

However the U.S. military has developed a vaccine that has shown promise in treatment among lab mice.

- Information from CNN